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View Full Version : BSGalactica miniseries and Dr. Baltar


toadspittle
03-06-2005, 08:19 PM
I only saw portions of the BSG miniseries (though I've since seen every ep. of the regular series). So my only info. on the background on Dr. Baltar is that he (a) was given Helo's place on the Raptor and (b) he became the science advisor, etc., on account of being such a super genius.

So ... he's obviously a traitor. But what did he do in the miniseries prior to his evacuation on the Raptor? What was his involvement with sexy No. 6 in the miniseries (who I did see kill that infant on Caprica...)? Why the heck (or is it still unexplained) is he still chatting with the presumably nonexistent No. 6?

Tangent
03-06-2005, 09:23 PM
To the best of my recollection:

In the mini-series, Baltar doesn't at first know that Six is a Cylon. He thinks she's just some hot scientist babe that he likes to shag. Baltar is responsible for much of the programming of the world's defense systems. He is supposed to make them secure from outside infiltration (aka, the Cylons). Number Six has been helping him and has supplied him with many of the "breakthroughs" that earned Baltar praise as a 'genius.' So he implements her designs into the defense grid. Then the Cylons show up and attack. The colonial ships are helpless because the Cylons are able to disable them by sending out some kind of signal that shuts down their ships' computers. The human defense system is basically worthless, because the programming that Six gave Baltar actually allowed the Cylons to control it. Six tells Baltar that she's a Cylon and he realizes that he unknowingly helped bring about the destruction of his world.

(The Galactica and its older squadron of fighter ships are not affected by the Cylons' kill signal because they are still operating on older technology.)

Number Six, for reasons not completely explained, helps Baltar survive the initial attack on Caprica. She also implies at some point that she might have implanted a microchip in his head while he was sleeping, and this is the reason that he can see her and converse with her when others can't. This hasn't been shown for a fact, yet, and there is still the possibility (though I think it slim) that the Number Six Baltar currently sees is a product of his own mind--in other words, he's gone mad.

In any event, Baltar is driven by guilt and the fear that someone will find out that he was responsible for rendering his world practically defenseless against the Cylons. His actions are practically always purely selfish--he is always seeking to cover his own ass and work situations to his own advantage, which is what got him into trouble in the first place.

Lumpy
03-06-2005, 09:51 PM
Also, even before Baltar knew Six was a Cylon, he still was culpable because he thought she was "only" working for a defense contractor looking for insider info that would win them a lucrative government contract. He knew she was boffing him in exchange for access to classified information, but he didn't care.

BTW: What the heck name did she go by? Baltar surely didn't call her "Six" or "Hey you" for months.

Baltar has really gone downhill since the pilot. Yes he was a cad, selfish, and shallow, but he still displayed intelligence, sophistication and even hints of character. But now he looks and acts like an imbecile. I really hope they aren't going to turn him into a Doctor Smith.

BrainGlutton
03-06-2005, 09:57 PM
Blech. Give me the Beltar from the original series. Betrayed the human race to the Cylons in hopes of being appointed its overseer after conquest. Didn't get it. Then spent the rest of the series working for the Cylons, trying to hunt down the remaining humans, just because. Dude was evil! Not a wussy dupe like this Beltar.

The Long Road
03-06-2005, 10:38 PM
Th Cylon detector storyline has gone on way too long. I groaned when Six made the comment about everyone passing the test. Really boring to be dragged on so long.

The new Cylons would have no need to a human to help them. They would simply kill Baltair and move on.

jeffh3000
03-06-2005, 11:25 PM
Th Cylon detector storyline has gone on way too long. I groaned when Six made the comment about everyone passing the test. Really boring to be dragged on so long.

The new Cylons would have no need to a human to help them. They would simply kill Baltair and move on.
Well you have no idea what their plans for Balter are. It most isn't necessarily to do with the Cylon detector

Six tells Baltar that she's a Cylon and he realizes that he unknowingly helped bring about the destruction of his world.

As Balter is basically a dupe, I feel a little sorry for him. This does quickly evaporate however with his ego and selfishness. I definately agree that he is going down hill, especially since the mini-series. I think this is intended to be a descent into madness, which is a result of his realization of his unintentional involvement in the Cylon massacere. It is also possible, the way that they are writing the "chipped" six, that it really is all in his head and it is just part of his madness. Whether it is or not, he is surely going crazy.

The Long Road
03-07-2005, 06:48 AM
Well you have no idea what their plans for Balter are. It most isn't necessarily to do with the Cylon detector


It could only be about the Cylon detector. Now Cylons can not worry about being detected because Baltair is giving everyone a pass. As for the Cylons killing him, I'm referring to the characters role in the original to this one. In the original the Cylons needed a human to hunt down other humans. In this one, they are far more efficient at doing it themselves.

toadspittle
03-07-2005, 09:36 AM
It could only be about the Cylon detector. Now Cylons can not worry about being detected because Baltair is giving everyone a pass.

I wonder how soon it will be until Baltar starts falsely accusing non-Cylons of being Cylons in order to remove threats to him. But we know so far that the senior staff, as it were, has been cleared, right? Adama, Tigh, the Prez, Lee--as well as Ellen and Boomer. So he can't easily accuse them. I forget--did the doc clear Starbuck, too? Or was she seeing him for generic medical reasons relating to her injury?

Acsenray
03-07-2005, 09:55 AM
The first thing that occurred to me is that how do we know, and how does Baltar know, that he really survived the attack? My speculation is that Baltar was replaced by a Cylon and that's one of the reasons why he's so easily manipulated, viz., the "visions" of Six, etc.

carnivorousplant
03-07-2005, 11:33 AM
My speculation is that Baltar was replaced by a Cylon and that's one of the reasons why he's so easily manipulated, viz., the "visions" of Six, etc.

Then why must he be manipulated? Why doesn't he get instructions from the mainframe or whatever?

jeffh3000
03-07-2005, 02:50 PM
The first thing that occurred to me is that how do we know, and how does Baltar know, that he really survived the attack? My speculation is that Baltar was replaced by a Cylon and that's one of the reasons why he's so easily manipulated, viz., the "visions" of Six, etc.

If he was a cylon there would be no need to manipulate him, as he would be "one of them." Also we don't know that they make cylons based on existing humans. We do know that there are only 12 models, so they are not going around killing people and replacing them with look-alikes, unless a model already looked like an existing person.

YPOD
03-07-2005, 05:37 PM
I would like to see Baltar develop some character and maybe find some way to resist Number Sex - and yeah, what name did he know her by? They have made mention of how well he multitasks, and once had a scene where he answered Number Sex and the humans and the same time, each hearing a unique and different meaning. Maybe they will let him develop that into something he can use against that Cylon chip in his head.

toadspittle
03-07-2005, 05:55 PM
If he was a cylon there would be no need to manipulate him, as he would be "one of them."


Just to play devil's advocate--Boomer demonstrates that Cylons aren't under perfect control. The BSG Boomer isn't a fully-conscious Cylon, and is disobedient (witness bomb no. 3). The Caprica Boomer also seems to be wavering in its Cylon loyalties.

Also we don't know that they make cylons based on existing humans. We do know that there are only 12 models, so they are not going around killing people and replacing them with look-alikes, unless a model already looked like an existing person.

True, but it's been 40 years since the Cylon war, and even though this is the first year that the Cylons went to the treaty space station, we don't know how long the human-looking models have been around. They very well could have been living in the Colonies as human beings, in deep cover, for more than three decades.

levdrakon
03-07-2005, 06:54 PM
I would like to see Baltar develop some character and maybe find some way to resist Number Sex - and yeah, what name did he know her by? They have made mention of how well he multitasks, and once had a scene where he answered Number Sex and the humans and the same time, each hearing a unique and different meaning. Maybe they will let him develop that into something he can use against that Cylon chip in his head.

Those are exactly my thoughts on Baltar, and about the only thing that will redeem him for me. Otherwise, he's just too whacky, too useless, and certainly not evil enough to keep around, story-wise.

carnivorousplant
03-07-2005, 08:51 PM
Boomer demonstrates that Cylons aren't under perfect control. The BSG Boomer isn't a fully-conscious Cylon, and is disobedient...The Caprica Boomer also seems to be wavering in its Cylon loyalties.


One cannot help but wonder if the Cylons are studying human behavior in themselves, or at least love and alrtuism. Perhaps Boomer is being tested and not Helo.

toadspittle
03-08-2005, 10:32 AM
I'm sure this must have been raised elsewhere, but thinking re: the Cylons made me come up with this cheesy hypothesis for the ultimate end of the series:

The Cylons do find Earth, and, in fact, populate Earth. WE are the Cylons, and we don't even know it. Dah-DUMM!!

carnivorousplant
03-08-2005, 10:42 AM
this cheesy hypothesis for the ultimate end of the series:


Yep.
Pretty cheesy.
:)

jeffh3000
03-09-2005, 04:09 PM
True, but it's been 40 years since the Cylon war, and even though this is the first year that the Cylons went to the treaty space station, we don't know how long the human-looking models have been around. They very well could have been living in the Colonies as human beings, in deep cover, for more than three decades.

I agree with this, and I have commented this could be the case (see my Could the President be a cylon thread (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?postid=5900741)), but my point was that Balter would not be replaced, as the orginal poster argued. In this case Balter would have been made cylon from the beginning.

jeffh3000
03-09-2005, 04:15 PM
One cannot help but wonder if the Cylons are studying human behavior in themselves, or at least love and alrtuism. Perhaps Boomer is being tested and not Helo.

I think that some cylons (six in particular) may begin to wonder if boomer is a "defective" model. I have commented on how she is sometimes may be just a little too human for cylon tastes.

I get the impression that the cylons clearly want to be "more human," and are certainly interested in human emotion and study us, but in general don't quite understand it yet. I think that part of the story may be "growth" in certain cylons.

Cervaise
03-09-2005, 06:10 PM
The official site has a video feature focusing on Baltar and the nature of his evil and insanity, for anyone who's interested.

direct link to QuickTime movie page (http://www.scifi.com/battlestar/bts/video/video_08_320.html)

BrainGlutton
03-09-2005, 09:22 PM
I get the impression that the cylons clearly want to be "more human," and are certainly interested in human emotion and study us, but in general don't quite understand it yet. I think that part of the story may be "growth" in certain cylons.

I hope they don't go there. The robot/AI/android who "wants to be human" is quite literally the most hackneyed cliche in SF. It goes all the way back to what is generally acknowledged as the first SF novel -- Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

carnivorousplant
03-09-2005, 09:52 PM
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

An interesting point.
I could deal with the Cylons being Frankenstein's creation much more easily than they're being Data.

If the human like Cylons are some innocent pulling the wings off flies and discovering what it means to be human, who the hell made them, the souless toaster Cylons? I can deal with machines making more machines, but why and how would the above toasers create biological entities?

BrainGlutton
03-09-2005, 10:08 PM
I can deal with machines making more machines, but why and how would the above toasers create biological entities?

Ostensibly, as deep-cover spies and saboteurs. But it's not clear to me (I've only seen a couple of episodes): If the human-form Cylons are "organic" -- then in what sense are they not human? If you looked at their tissue under a microscope, would you see cells, with DNA in the nuclei? Presumably, or it would be too easy to detect them. So what's the difference? Do they have silicon-based computers instead of neuronal brains? Probably not, same reason. But then, if their brains are the same as yours or mine -- how do the Cylons control them? Are they simply human clones with conditioned personalities? We know they're capable of sex with humans -- but are they capable of getting pregnant by a human, or getting a human pregnant? If so, what is the child? Human or Cylon?

carnivorousplant
03-10-2005, 06:54 AM
in what sense are they not human?

Human spines don't glow when they, er, eat ice cream.
:)

Homo spinus glowus coitus.

toadspittle
03-10-2005, 08:57 AM
Ostensibly, as deep-cover spies and saboteurs. But it's not clear to me (I've only seen a couple of episodes): If the human-form Cylons are "organic" -- then in what sense are they not human? If you looked at their tissue under a microscope, would you see cells, with DNA in the nuclei? Presumably, or it would be too easy to detect them. So what's the difference? Do they have silicon-based computers instead of neuronal brains? Probably not, same reason. But then, if their brains are the same as yours or mine -- how do the Cylons control them? Are they simply human clones with conditioned personalities? We know they're capable of sex with humans -- but are they capable of getting pregnant by a human, or getting a human pregnant? If so, what is the child? Human or Cylon?

They've also been shown to be considerably stronger and faster than normal humans. So one would imagine that there has to be something non-organic in them that does that.

Of course, couldn't you just x-ray everybody? Or do they not have enough x-ray film left in the fleet for that purpose?

The Long Road
03-10-2005, 03:11 PM
They've also been shown to be considerably stronger and faster than normal humans. So one would imagine that there has to be something non-organic in them that does that.

Of course, couldn't you just x-ray everybody? Or do they not have enough x-ray film left in the fleet for that purpose?


Which had me thinking during the last show when they were running through the tunnel. If the Cylons are better than humans in so many areas, it's only natural that they go on to replace humans. The humans in this series just don't seem to stand a chance against the Cylons. The Cylons are faster, stronger and apparently smarter in some circumstances.

In the original, whenever there was anything even close to a fair fight(and many times not), the Cylons got whipped. Remember when two Vipers destroyed a base star by pulling it in close to the planet? Now the humans pretty much can't do anything but run and pray the Cylons don't find them.

carnivorousplant
03-10-2005, 03:31 PM
[QUOTE= Now the humans pretty much can't do anything but run and pray the Cylons don't find them.[/QUOTE]

Unless Starbuck is shooting.

:)

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